All in good time, but people of faith are going to inherit the earth

Intrepid demographer Lyman Stone is at it again, breaching the bounds of political correctness with an astute, thought-provoking analysis, Religion and Fertility in Canada. His conclusion:

Canadian women who attend religious services at least monthly desire to have more children, spend more of their life married, and ultimately have more children than nominally religious or nonreligious Canadian women.

This is true throughout the world. People of faith believe in the transcendent. That shapes their priorities and life decisions. Pronatalism, though strongest in the Abrahamic faiths, is by no means confined to them.

Lamentably, religious faith is being displaced by consumerism and mammon worship. This is the globalist worldview that convenience, creature comforts, and material wealth are ends in themselves, a here-and-now ethos that throws family and children under the bus as a perfectly acceptable means to “prosperity.” Talk about priorities! 

From what I know of Mr. Stone’s work, he seems to have tumbled to the same conclusion.

We are not replacing ourselves. His research finds lack of religious faith is a major cause. Not only that, it also explains the notion of “missing children” (fertility undershooting), something rarely mentioned in demographic statistics:  

[E]ven among women who never attend religious services, fertility desires are far in excess of intended or actual fertility rates. Thus, fertility undershooting is a common experience for all groups of Canadian women, regardless of religiosity. About seventy percent of regularly attending [religious] women would ideally like to have more children, but across all religious groups, vastly more women undershoot their fertility desires than overshoot them.

Yes, families desire more children, but the social/financial turmoil of dysfunctional societies suppresses fertility.

A comprehensive effort

Religion and Fertility in Canada involved surveying a massive cross section of Canadian women (2700 respondents) to better understand fertility dynamics north of the border. Another finding: Religious folks form supportive communities around their faith:

They also experience less worry and anxiety about a host of individual and global issues… Indeed, even when religious and nonreligious women have identical financial circumstances, they report dramatically different degrees of financial worries, suggesting that religious women possess additional non-financial resources (such as community support or psychological strategies) for managing their situation.

Absolutely. Religious folks are not fixated on safe spaces, hurt feelings or bloviating about the latest hoked-up crisis. Pronoun usage doesn’t bother them. They have deeper, more meaningful concerns.

Remember when the left appropriated the “live and let live” mantra? Now they stand for anything but. By and large, religious folks don’t get in your face about your opinions. Yes, there are fanatics. But don’t confuse devout with fanatic. They’re miles-apart mutually exclusive concepts. Religious folks usually don’t think that cancelling or getting someone fired will help save the planet or improve our quality of life. 


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Other studies

Mr. Stone further points out that “Academics broadly agree that specific religious beliefs, practices, and socializing influence cause differences in fertility behaviour.” Here are some examples:

Religiosity and the realisation of fertility intentions: A comparative study of eight European countries (2021): “The results confirm that practising Christians generally intend and have more children than nominal Christians and non-affiliated persons.

From the National Endowment for the Humanities, Religiosity and Fertility in the United States: The Role of Fertility Intentions (2009): “[W]e show that women who report that religion is ‘very important’ in their everyday life have both higher fertility and higher intended fertility than those saying religion is ‘somewhat important’ or ‘not important’.”

Then there’s Human fertility in relation to education, economy, religion, contraception, and family planning programs (2020): “In decreasing order of strength, fertility (TFR) correlates negatively with education, CPR, and GDP per capita, and positively with religiosity … Why is fertility associated with religiosity? Beside declarations from the Vatican and other religious leaders, possible reasons are belief in supernatural influence on things we desire, such as ‘good crops, protection, health and fertility’, and fatalistic views about fertility, such as children ‘are up to God’.”

Just last week Professor Michael Anton posted a blockbuster article “The Pessimistic Case for the Future:” “A moral and religious people is more likely to get and stay married; beget and rear children; hold jobs, even boring but necessary ones; participate in civic life; stay out of trouble; save money and build wealth (however modest); and do all the other things that make for long, happy, productive, fruitful, fulfilling, moral lives. Lack of religion tends to produce the opposite…”

That is self-evident. From religious belief flows family, children, morality and other positive influences. When I was coming up, calling someone a good Christian was the ultimate compliment. Still is here in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Yet the modern West wages an unceasing take-no-prisoners war on Christianity.    

This is the climate in which Mr. Stone conducted his study. In Canada and the rest of the West, anti-Christian wokeism (cultural Marxism) prevails. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s regime freezes the bank accounts of dissenters and severely punishes peaceful protests against the ravages of globalism. To say the least, that is not a family-friendly situation. Yet believers persevere, much as they did under Communism.

Further findings

Mr. Stone’s research also found that women who identify as religious are more likely to be married, and married religious women have more children than married women who are not religious:

Religion’s influence on marriage and family in turn arises from three distinct sources. Religious women (especially those who attend religious services at least monthly) desire larger families, on average. Regularly attending women may also be exposed to doctrinal or belief-based values that offer a high social valuation of married parenthood in particular or that regulate the use of contraception and abortion. Finally, regularly attending women benefit from an extensive range of social supports that buffer against virtually every kind of family-planning worry we surveyed.

Religion and Fertility in Canada is a valuable and compelling confirmation of the importance of religious faith to family formation and continuity.

So believers, take heart. Our numbers are growing relative to the general population. That should eventually bring positive social change. Perhaps even freedom of religion will make a comeback.  


Louis T. March has a background in government, business and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

ImageJosh Sorenson on Pexels

Showing 3 reactions

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  • Ernst de Jong
    followed this page 2023-07-31 03:26:48 +1000
  • mrscracker
    I thought I’d attempted to add a comment here yesterday but perhaps there was a glitch. Anyway, many thanks for this commonsense info.
    It really comes down to Math. If a segment of the population is growing demographically & the others are not, it’s not rocket science to predict what the future will look like. And some faith communities like the Amish & Hassidic Jews aren’t just growing, they’re growing exponentially,
    It only takes a generation or two for a culture to expire. There have to be succeeding generations to enable the survival of any ideology. No children, no future.
  • Paul Bunyan
    commented 2023-07-27 20:17:42 +1000
    No one will inherit anything if climate change kills us all. It’s already making it harder to produce food.